Racism has become THE word to use in most social debates all over the world these days. Yet, it seems, most debaters are throwing the word around with a vengeance while not really too aware of its real meaning.
So, herewith, as public service, a few words on the topic.
Wisdom or laziness?
Let’s begin with the so-called accepted definitions. Some differ from the others, but they all also have a lot in common.
Let’s start with Encyclopaedia Britannica. It covers the topic in an article written by Audrey Smedley (please note: according to the entry, it was updated Aug. 21, 2020). Here’s what the Professor of Anthropology, Virginia Commonwealth University, author of Race in North America: Origin and Evolution of a Worldview, shared with the venerable Britannica’s readers:
Racism, also called racialism, the belief that humans may be divided into separate and exclusive biological entities called “races”; that there is a causal link between inherited physical traits and traits of personality, intellect, morality, and other cultural and behavioural features; and that some races are innately superior to others. The term is also applied to political, economic, or legal institutions and systems that engage in or perpetuate discrimination on the basis of race or otherwise reinforce racial inequalities in wealth and income, education, health care, civil rights, and other areas. Such institutional, structural, or systemic racism became a particular focus of scholarly investigation in the 1980s with the emergence of critical race theory, an offshoot of the critical legal studies movement. Since the late 20th century the notion of biological race has been recognized as a cultural invention, entirely without scientific basis.
Merriam-Webster, defining racism, is not as thorough:
1: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2a: a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles
b: a political or social system founded on racism
3: racial prejudice or discrimination
Wikipedia, the most superficial source of them all, chimed in thus:
Racism is the belief that groups of humans possess different behavioural traits corresponding to physical appearance and can be divided based on the superiority of one race over another. It may also mean prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against other people because they are of a different race or ethnicity.
Sitting in judgement
Here’s what all the three definitions quoted above have in common: they generalize.
And, generalizing in return, they all deny that yes, there exist major differences between a variety of groups of people, and yes, their historical, cultural and whatever other backgrounds do conspire to make them different.
Not superior to one another.
And that’s the one major flaw that all those generally accepted definitions share: denial. They deny the undisputable fact that yes, races do exist. And yes, these races do differ amongst themselves. And, speaking of differences, there are many sub-groups that include people of mixed origins: do they form a race or not?
Nobody in their right mind can claim this race is superior to that race, or to all the other races combined.
But agreeing that yes, there exist different races is simply a statement of fact.
It is the discrimination based on race that people ought to object to.
And again: discrimination as such is nothing to be ashamed of. If a company requires the services of a bricklayer, millers or turners need not apply. If a lady prefers this guy over that guy for a husband, it’s discrimination, too.
In any case, selecting employees simply because of their race makes no sense, and any business that would be stupid enough to discriminate this way would be doomed sooner rather than later.
Judging by developments during the last (at least) half of a century, discrimination based on race has become a known liability not only before the laws of the land, but in the face of reality, as well.
Nothing to sneer at
Some point to the undeniable facts such as: there are more black people behind bars in America than other races. Or: there is much more sexual mayhem among black people in America than other races. Or, speaking of sexual mayhem, there are many more single mothers of black skin colour than other races in America.
True, all that, but that may have something to do with the leadership that had imposed itself upon black Americans throughout (at least) the last century. Based simply on the demand for entitlement, it never required its followers to work hard for their achievement, in order to improve their lot in life.
That’s politicking, not politics. And it leads nowhere.
The theory of entitlement would require a separate study, but here’s an angle: there are quite a few people of black skin complexion in America who have had achieved levels of considerable importance in society.
Some may ask: was it because of their race or despite their race?
Nonsense. It was because of their hard work, combined with their talent.
The minority who today terrorize the majority of the population, justifying their actions by claiming that today’s social and economic systems are still based on racism, are committing the basest kind of racism themselves. Political correctness strips words of their original meanings only to infuse them with all kinds of sinister intentions. This is what informs the rhetoric and actions of today’s mobsters who just abuse the word racism to gain unearned political and economic advantages.
Throwing words (and labels) around is the easiest way to strip any debate of any meaning other than scaring the other side out of its collective mind. Slogans and acts of terrorism do not solve anything. Hard work does.
And so does the realization that nobody has ever earned any respect from others without offering respect to others first. That includes respecting the facts, such as: yes, races do exist, and they will never live together in peace until and unless they learn how to respect one another.
This is NOT racism. This IS reality.